Podcast Link: Adoption & Inclusion: A Growth Story with Crystal Egli
Other Platforms: Here
YouTube Interview of Ken & I: What I Wish I Knew About INCLUSION
Helpful Resource: Adoptees Coming of Age
Adoption, an action by which individuals and couples legally take a child in as their own and raise them into adulthood. The overall action of adoption is common in many countries but the narrative on how it looks is unique to each individual and their family structure.
This topic is close to our hearts because we are adoptive parents who eventually had the privilege of reuniting our daughter with her birth family after almost 10 years in our care. We will always have the bond of our relationship, but she needed to take a different path to heal in deeper places. Even though reunification is a path few can take, in our story, it was what we all needed for her to thrive. Perhaps there is a blog/podcast on reunification in the future. Feel free to contact me through my website at Seema Global Consulting if you would like to talk more about the reunification journey.
Today, I would like to share about a transformational lesson we learned in our adoption journey. Inclusion.
We are an interracial couple (White Dutch American and East Indian Canadian) who have three biracial and biological sons. When we added our daughter to the mix, she brought with her trauma, foster care culture, and her African American and Hispanic roots. We not only had to acknowledge that we followed the call to adopt, but we would need to learn how to include her and give her space to live into her authentic self, no matter how challenging it got. Since inclusion basically means, “making room in your story for someone else”, we would all need to learn how to make room for her in every area of our lives. That wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth it.
So often, adoptive parents welcome a child into their home and carry on “the way we have always done it”, parenting that is. When we acknowledge the need for inclusion, we realize that there might be some deeper changes that we need to make so that everyone can live into their authentic selves without judgement, criticism or forced assimilation. We learned that inclusion enhances belonging. Check out our Free Downloads.
Here is What I Wish I Knew About INCLUSION, the interview my husband and I did for Jay & Kate Woodhams on their YouTube show called, “What I Wish You Knew About…” on their US2 channel.
Here is a comment shared by a viewer:
When shifting my mind to Inclusion in the topic of adoption I wasn’t sure what my opinion was. However, after listening to this interview I understand the importance of full inclusion of a child who is adopted. When you remove a child from their birth family the adoptive family has the responsibility to help that child feel whole. A child cannot feel whole if they do not know their culture, their roots, their foundation. It is not the responsibility of the child to seek this out, but of the adoptive family to immerse themselves and advocate, appreciate and accept that child with all of their background. The adoptive family should work to immerse themselves in the culture of their child so that the child can feel inclusion daily.
As an added bonus, I was also able to interview an adult adoptee on my podcast on adoption and inclusion (link above).
Crystal Egli, grew up in rural Vermont, has a deep love for the outdoors so much that in 2019 the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies awarded her the Stephen Kellert award for “outstanding service in advancing connections between humans and the natural world to all peoples in a diverse and inclusive manner”. Also, that year, she received the Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s award for “Best Creative Idea” for the YouTube series called “My First Big Game Hunt”. In 2020, Crystal left Colorado Parks & Wildlife to pursue working on Inclusive Journeys full-time as a DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) consultant that eventually allowed our paths to cross through a mutual friend!
In our conversation we make a lot of discoveries and take time to reflect on the adoption journey as an adoptee and as a parent. Hope you are encouraged as we were.
Here’s to Growing Forward Together as we implement inclusion in all our relationships!!